A new version of Firefox has landed today with a big change for Web developers who prefer the browser, while a large handful of HTML5 gets a green light for browser support from Mozilla.
Firefox 16 (download for Windows | Mac |
Linux | Android) makes far fewer sweeping changes than the previous update to Firefox.
A number of HTML5 code has been "unprefixed," which means that Mozilla has decided it has matured enough to run in the browser without causing instability. The newly unshackled HTML5 includes CSS3 Animations, Transforms, Transitions, Image Values, Values and Units, and IndexedDB. Two Web APIs that Mozilla helped to create, Battery API and Vibration API, are also now unprefixed.
These changes help keep Firefox competitive, but it also sends a signal to developers that Mozilla thinks these are good enough to begin baking into their sites. It's a strong endorsement of the "future-Web" tech.
Another nod to developers is the new Developer Command Line. It creates simplified keyboard controls for Firefox's developer tools. Mozilla described it in its blog post announcing today's update as "intuitive, completing commands and parameters for you." While it may not be the sexiest improvement, it does make Web development a bit more accessible.
Meanwhile, the Android version of Firefox 16 gets a Reader Mode to streamline the appearance of articles and make them easier to share. When Reader Mode is available, an icon will appear in the location bar. Tap it, and the story or blog post you're reading will reformat, changing the size of pictures, making the font bigger, and removing ads.
Mozilla's announcement of the update and release notes can be read here.